A Brief Introduction To Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Of all the vertebrae in the spinal column, the first seven vertebrae labeled C1 through C7, which connect the skull’s bottom to the upper back is termed as the cervical spine. It plays a vital role in protecting the originating ends of the spinal cord while it balances and distributes the head’s weight. But most importantly, the cervical vertebrae from C1 to C6 consist of small pores that provide a passageway for vertebral arteries to carry blood to the brain. With such vital functionality, any problem to this vertebral column can have severe consequences on the rest of the body. And spinal stenosis is one of the most prevalent threats that harm the cervical spine mostly in people who cross the age of 50.

‘Spinal stenosis’ is a common condition where the cylindrical hollow space within the spinal column keeps getting narrower and starts pinching and damaging the nerves and tendons of the spinal cord. Severe pain being the most apparent symptom of this condition, it can also cause some serious unexpected symptoms and dysfunctions throughout the body. 

Causes:

The most common cause of cervical spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis, a systemic disease that starts degrading the bone cartilages and attacking the bones across the body. The bone spurs that it causes over the vertebral discs can damage the spinal nerves. Other types of damages to the vertebral discs that directly cause spinal stenosis include:

Disc Herniation: In cases where the fluid gel within the discs leaks out through herniated regions, this fluid presses against the cord’s nerves.

Spinal Tumors: if cancerous tumors start to form over within the spinal column, they can poke the spinal cord and cause stenosis.

Impact Fractures: fractures caused due to external impact injuries can disposition the discs and impinge the cord consequently.

Paget’s Disease: This is a relatively rare condition where the vertebrae start to grow abnormally brittle and large, strangling the spinal cord inwards. 

Symptoms:

Since the cervical spine protects the signaling nerves leaving the brain while enabling the arterial blood supply, cervical stenosis symptoms tend to reflect all over the body, such as:

  • General pain, tingling, spasms, or numbness in the legs, arms, or torso
  • A sensation of severe ache in the lower back or buttocks that shoots down the legs
  • Severe weakness in legs which may cause you to slap your foot down while walking
  • Stiffness and pain while standing or walking
  • Uncontrolled bowel movements caused by a weakened bladder nerves

Treating Cervical Spinal Stenosis:

Non-Surgical Options:

Most spinal narrowing symptoms that are mild or moderate can be dealt with through some lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly and losing excess weight after consulting your physician. Applying frequent hot and cold presses can also help loosen the tightened tendons.

Symptoms such as muscle spasms, nerve damage, seizures, and pain can be controlled and relieved with prescribed medications from your physician. Severe symptoms of pain and inflammation can be eased with nerve blocks and corticosteroid injections. 

Surgical Options:

In more severe cases where the narrowing of the spine prevents the patient from performing routine activities such as walking or passing bowels, surgically rearranging the vertebrae and relieving the nerves might be a better solution.

In such cases, a laminectomy and laminoplasty surgery will be performed with the spine surgeon frees up the jammed vertebrae by removing a portion of a vertebra and installing prosthetic fixtures for support.

Cervical spinal stenosis is fairly common and highly treated these days. All you need to do is find the right spine surgeon and get appropriate treatment. Dr. Akhil Tawari is a specialized spine surgeon for spinal stenosis treatment in Mumbai, who can help you deal with your spine problems with only the most advanced and suitable treatment options. You can visit Dr. Akhil Tawari’s website to learn more about his work as a modern-day spine surgeon for spinal stenosis treatment. 

Things You Must Know About Spinal Infections

Spinal infection is a relatively rare kind of diagnosis but can cause significant damage to the patient’s spine. If left untreated or delayed, it can develop into life-threatening severe health complications. An unattended spinal infection can lead to:

 

  • Bone abnormalities
  • Unstable spine
  • Compressed Spinal Cord
  • Systemic spread of infection
  • Spinal cord infection and Meningitis
  • Weakness in hands and legs

Spinal infection targets explicitly the bones, vertebrae, fluid, and soft tissues surrounding the spine.

What are the symptoms of spinal infection?

The primary symptom to look out for is bone tenderness and back pain. However, back pain alone may or may not be the symptom of spinal infection. Other symptoms of the spinal disease include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sudden difficulty in moving
  • Back pain accompanied by headache.
  • Shooting pain in the legs, back, and hips
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain or difficulty urinating and passing stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unable to balance the body while sitting or standing

In some cases, patients experience neurological problems, which may include numbness, weakness, vision loss, inability to walk, inability to speak, stand, or sit.

What causes Spinal Infections?

It is caused mostly by bacteria including Mycobacteria tuberculosis and fungi, which enter the patient’s body from an infection caused at the other part of the body. The bacteria/fungi travel through the bloodstream and affect the spine. For instance, a patient undergoes surgery or cut himself in an injury.
In some patients, the bacteria target the spinal discs, and once the disc gets infected, it spreads to the other regions of the spine. Over time, the disc will become weak, erode, and collapse, resulting in a damaged spine, vertebrae, and fatality.
In India, the incidence of tuberculosis affecting the spine is very high. A delay in seeking care can have hazardous consequences, while timely interventions usually lead to favorable outcomes.
Visit the best spine surgeon for spinal infection problems before the infection spread in the other parts of the body, press against the spinal cord, and affect multiple bodily functions. If left untreated, the diseased vertebrae fuse and press against the nerve roots, causing shooting pain and discomfort.
Spinal infection can also occur due to the following conditions:

  • Prolonged usage of the steroid
  • Old age
  • HIV
  • Malnutrition
  • Intravenous drug usage
  • Diabetes•
  • Cancer

Treatment Overview

Our best spine surgeon in Mumbai first evaluates and examines the patient’s medical history and suggests some blood tests to determine whether or not the infection is present. Imaging tests and MRI scans may also be performed to find the location of the disease. Therefore, doctors encourage people to get a complete health check-up once every year. Early detection of spinal infection can stop it from further spreading in the body system.
Note: Back pain accompanied by any other symptoms mentioned above, needs to be immediately reported to a professional spine surgeon.
The treatment process includes prescribed antibiotics, surgical decompression, antifungal therapy, and stabilization. The surgery is performed to remove the infection, clean the affected area, and stop further neurological damage. Your doctor will discuss the best-suited treatment approach after carefully examining your health and the amount of infection spread in the spine.

Final Thoughts

Not all back pain results from a spinal infection, but an evaluation is always wise to stay on a safe side. Visit the best spine surgeon today for effective diagnosis and safe treatment for spine infection including Spine tuberculosis.

5 Health Problems You’ll Probably Face While Working From Home

Working from home has created a whole new experience in the lives of the ones who have never done so before this lockdown. To some its the most relaxed version of work while to others, it’s pesky and less productive. And while we do so, not all of us were well-prepared for it. The main difference between working from home and working in an office is the environment. An office is required to have comfortable desks and chairs, substantial break times, and a specified time limit for working every day. On the contrary, as we work from home, most of us do not have the proper desk and chair set up, we tend to take intermittent breaks, and we’re working much longer hours close to our laptop screens.

Naturally, this change in our working style has caused some new health problems which are gradually affecting our lives. And if they aren’t addressed and dealt with in time, they may damage our health even after the lockdown. The most common of such problems reported lately include

Neck, shoulder, and back pain:

When we sit on a bed or a couch in a slouched posture, the muscles around your neck and spine are over-stretched. Additionally, most of us lean forward while writing, which adds to the pressure on the lumbar region.

Also, as the laptop screen is always lower when placed on your lap, it stretches your neck muscles and holds them in that position.

Staying in such postures for a prolonged period will cause the neck, back, and shoulder muscles to over-strain and cause severe pain.

Eye Problems:

All our computer screens emit a specific wavelength of light known as the blue light, which is extremely harsh on the eye. When exposed for too long, this blue light penetrates deep into the eyes and creates a glaring effect, which results in irritation and strain.

When we’re too focused on the screen, our minds enter a semi-hypnotic state, which causes our eyes to blink less frequently. This makes them dry, itchy, painful, and causes burning sensations over the surface.These are just a few of the eye problems caused by prolonged exposure to screens, collectively known as ‘Computer Vision Syndrome.’

Hip Stiffness:

Practically, to keep your hip flexor muscles relaxed, your back needs to be reclined at least 15 degrees. However, most of us think sitting upright like a pole does the trick, while others curve our backs like we’re 100 years old.Ultimately, unless we sit reclined and take frequent breaks, the hip flexors are stretched out and become severely stiff and painful when we get up.

Leg Cramps:

Sitting for prolonged periods also laxes the blood supple down the legs. Moreover, if you tend to sit with your legs elevated or completely folded, your legs drain out blood pretty quickly.With reduced blood supply, your leg muscles are sure to get cramped and tingly, make it difficult to walk later.

Wrist Pain:

As you go on typing throughout the day, your wrist remains pressed against the laptop or desk. The tendons passing through the carpal tunnel structure of your wrist also get inflamed.This external pressure and inflammation cause the median nerve to contract and develop a painful condition called the ‘carpal tunnel syndrome.’

Of all these problems, the back and neck pain issues are known to aggravate rapidly and cause permanent damage to the nerves and bones of the back. If you’ve been experiencing such problems lately while working from home, we recommend you contact and get online consultation for Dr. Akhil Tawari. He is the most adept and regarded spine specialist in western suburbs of Mumbai who is known to provide the best back and neck pain treatment online and offline. You can visit Dr. Tawari’s website to book your appointment today!

 

7 Factors Contributing To Your Back Pain Problems

Back pain almost always starts as a tolerable twinge, which gradually radiates down the back to one’s legs and becomes chronic. And although this problem is as common as headaches, in most of its cases, it is almost impossible to pin down the exact cause and location of the pain. Hence, the best methodology for back pain treatment is to realize its causes in the early stages and opt for their treatment accordingly.

There is a myriad of factors and
activities which can cause and aggravate your back pain condition.
However, here are some of the factors which are most likely to do so:

Your Screentime:

While looking at a screen for prolonged periods can strain your eyes, it also affects your back and neck muscles adversely.

When you sit on a chair or a couch, you almost always slouch your posture, a habit known as the ‘poor posture syndrome.’ This posture strains the back and neck and exerts excessive pressure on the tendons and ligaments surrounding them. To avoid this, you must take
frequent breaks and walk around while working or binging movies.

Your Core Exercise:

Your core is not just the abs, but
also your side, pelvic, and buttock muscles, which allow your body to
bend, twist, turn, and stand upright.
If you’re only working your abs
and avoiding workouts of other core muscles that support the spine,
chances are you will develop back pain as you get older.

Hence, exercises such as lunges,
squats, planks, etc. should be a part of your daily workout regime to
strengthen the totality of your back.

Your Sleeping Posture:

If you have a considerable amount of belly fat, it will exert pressure on the spine when pressed inside, which is why, if you fall asleep on your stomach, you might suddenly wake up with a twinge in your lower back. It is always recommended to sleep on
either of your sides or back where the muscles remain relaxed.

Your Smoking Habit:

The nicotine content in your cigarettes not only hinders the blood flow towards your vertebrae and discs but also degrades its ability to absorb calcium, weakening them faster than they usually do. Hence, chain-smokers are more likely to suffer from back problems, which can only be prevented by quitting the habit.

Your Mental Stress:

In a study conducted at the
University of Alberta, Canada, people with chronic depression are
four times more likely to develop back and neck pain problems.

Even though the exact causes can’t be stated, doctors believe that the mental effects of depression may trigger the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which causes the back and shoulder muscles to stress and become painful. fortunately, the methods and medications for tackling depression can solve this back problem in the process.

Your Shoes and Slippers:

Full-flat footwears like sandals and flip-flops do not provide sufficient support to the foot’s arch, and wearing them continually can lead to severe back, knee, and foot problems over time. Hence, buy footwear only when it fits comfortably and try wearing different pairs every day or week.

Your Resting Time:

Taking breaks after working hard on
something is necessary, but how long you proceed with your breaks is
also of great concern.
Staying idle for more than a day can
stiffen your back muscles and your bone joints, increasing the risk
of developing pain due to muscle spasms or brisk movements.

Try to change your routine as much
as you can and add new activities to it as someone who was probably
extremely health-conscious had once said – ‘change is as good as
rest.’

If you wish to learn more about such factors that are causing or may contribute to your back problems and what are the best back pain treatment options, visit Dr. Akhil Tawari’s website. And if you want to consult and get prompt solutions for all your spine and back problems, you can reach out to Dr. Akhil Tawari, who is the best spine surgeon in Mumbai for treating back-related issues.

Here’s How The ‘Sitting Disease’ Is Harming Your Spine

Even as you read this article, you’re probably sitting; either in your office chair, your couch, the balcony, or any other place you usually do, which is alright unless you’ve been sitting for hours at a stretch.

Someone complaining about how long you sit isn’t new to anyone. Sitting is how we work, it is how we consume entertainment, or just let time pass by. This highly passive lifestyle, encouraged by our workplaces and entertainment providers, has been directly linked to the manifestation of several chronic diseases. Hence, even though prolonged sitting per se isn’t a disease, many in the medical community who have realised the disorders it can lead to, have coined the term ‘Sitting Disease’.

How Severe Is The ‘Sitting Disease’?

A 2012 study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys showed that as many as 70% of people spend more than six hours sitting every day either for their work, daily commute or for binge-watching TV. 

A 2015 study again showed that this sedentary lifestyle increased the chances of developing several disorders such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and even certain cancers of the breast, colon, colorectal, endometrial, etc. in adults, even if they exercised for some time of the day. Hence, the takeaway from the 2015 study was that prolonged sitting increased the risk of dying through various causes.

How Does It Affect Our Spine, Back & Neck?

The most common complain of every 9-to-5 employee today is soreness, stiffness and pain in their backs. This must not be ignored as minor pain as it has been proven to cause more choric disorders in the long run. To understand why sitting is the root cause of such problems, let’s understand what happens to your back when you sit.

When you’re in a seated position, the muscles around your neck and spine are stretched and the spinal disc experience compressive pressure. It also causes your hip flexors muscles to be pressurised and potentially causes some ischemia (restricted blood flow). The gluteus maximus muscle, which is an essential supporter of the spine, also suffers the same compressive pressure.

Now, when you sit for prolonged periods, you almost always slouch your posture, which is known as ‘poor posture syndrome’. This posture strains the spinal ligaments beyond their limits and exerts the same strain on the outer annulus of the spinal discs. 

Repeating the same posture day after day can accelerate the wear and tear of the spinal discs and lead to various spinal problems such as disc bulging or herniation.

How To Prevent The Spine From ‘Sitting Disease’?

The key to saving your spine is moving around for at least a few minutes each half-hour to keep your spinal joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments flexible and active.

And if work is your highest excuse for sitting, you can now buy a ‘Sit-Stand’ or ‘Sit-to-Stand’ work desk which seamlessly transforms into a standing desk without disturbing your desk setup, improving your posture and boosting your productivity.

Other habits you can develop to maintain your spine health while at work include:

  • Setting a 30-minute timer at your desk as a standing and stretching reminder
  • Walking up to your coworker for sharing small information instead of messaging them
  • Parking your vehicle a bit farther from the office
  • Taking short walks during breaks

It is also equally important to strengthen the less used muscles such as the abdominals glutes, back extensors and scapular muscles as they support the spine’s muscle balance and improve your posture.
The sitting disease is a major concern amongst modern employees, which can only lead to degrading spinal problems if not rectified in time. If you’re experiencing persistent spinal, neck or back pain and are seeking a spine specialist in Borivali, you must visit Dr Akhil Tawari before taking any major steps. Being one of the most adept spine specialists, Dr Tawari can help you understand the condition of your spine more easily and help you with specialised treatment and prevention options for the same. Visit Dr Akhil Tawari’s website to contact him today.

6 Common Causes Of Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is as common as, well, the ‘common cold’. Even if you never feel it, each of your vertebrae is squeezed and twisted every time you move your body and that exerts severe pressure and grinding friction over the discs between them, the lumbar region, or the lower back as most of us know it, takes most of the damage as it experiences the maximum weight press of our upper body.

However, there are several other reasons which might prove to be the real cause of your back pain upon diagnosis. And as the symptom is common amongst all, they are hard to distinguish in the initial stages. Hence, let’s look at the most common causes of back pain and try to figure out which of these is the reason for yours:

Musculoskeletal Strain:

The ligaments and muscles that surround the spinal cord firmly hold it in place to prevent extreme bending or twisting movements. These ligaments can easily get strained or even torn when one tries to stretch, turn around, or lift something briskly.

Anyone can experience a back ligament sprain in regular activities which is marked by tenderness, swelling, and muscle spasms in the lower back muscles.

Traumatic Accidents:

Motor accidents, sudden falls, or a sports accident that causes an extreme twisting or heavy blow to the back can cause vertebral fractures or disc herniation which may not be prominent immediately but will cause severe pain.

If your back ever gets injury during an accident, you may also feel tingling and numbness sensations radiating towards your legs along with immobility and severe pain.

Degenerative Disc Diseases:

This is general degeneration of the spinal disc caused by continual wear and tear over several years of your life. Think of it as rusting of the bearings in gear wheels which cause them to jerk and degrade. Similarly, when the discs that cushion the vertebrae get degraded, it causes the vertebrae to grind over each other and pain.

Sciatica:

This disorder is caused when the sciatic nerves get compressed or damaged due to herniation or rupture of a disc.

The symptoms are quite similar to the ones caused by cauda equina syndrome but one can experience them even while coughing or sneezing.

Spinal infections:

Harmful bacteria, viruses, or fungi are constantly lingering around in our body, and if they succeed in infecting one of our vertebrae, they can cause severe back pain and loss of sensory abilities.

Spinal stenosis:

Spinal stenosis mostly develops as we grow older where the spinal canal becomes narrower and pressurizes the nerves in and around it, often leading to conditions such as Sciatica or Cauda equina syndrome.

If you live in Mumbai and are looking for the best spine surgeon who can help you understand and resolve your lower back pain causes and symptoms, then Dr Akhil Tawari can prove to be the most sensible choice. As he is the most adept and commended spine surgeon in Borivali, and western suburbs of Mumbai, he can ensure that you receive only the most suitable treatments for all your back problems. You can reach out to him by visiting his website:

All You Need To Know About Slipped Discs – Symptoms, Causes & Prevention Methods

The intervertebral discs are made of flexible fibrocartilage known as ‘annulus fibrosus’ with a gel-like fluid called ‘nucleus pulposus’ in their core and present between each adjacent vertebrae in the spinal column, except for the first cervical segment of the spine. These discs are vital in humans for seamless locomotion as their gel-like nucleus absorbs and distributes the pressure subjected on the spine while walking, lifting, twisting or bending. This also makes them prone to severe wear-and-tear and bone-related disorders that can hinder their functionality.

What is a slipped disc?

When a disc weakens and is also subjected to sudden and excessive compressive pressure, there are chances that its outer annulus fibrosis may get deformed or herniated, causing the inner nucleus pulposus to leak out. The leaked fluid can then protrude and compress the nearby nerves and muscles around the spine, causing paresthesia, numbness, chronic and acute pain. This condition is known as a ‘slipped disc’ where the disc doesn’t actually slip but gets herniated.

What are the symptoms of a slipped disc?

Anyone can suffer from a slipped disc, and the severity of the disc damage will also vary from mild deformities to severe disruption. Anyone with a slipped disc will generally experience the following symptoms:

  • Acute pain anywhere along the back, arms and the neck structure
  • Pain while moving the back for activities like bending, standing, turning, etc.
  • Back pain that aggravates every night
  • Itching or tingling sensations in a specific part of the spine
  • A general weakness in the back muscles
  • Feeling numb only on one of the sides of the body

What Causes a slipped disc?

Following are the most common factors that damage the cartilage discs:

Age

Like every other bone part, as we age, the cartilage discs start to lose their lubrication and dry up, making them more prone to unwanted movement.

Sudden unbalanced movements:

This is the most prominent cause as any sudden and unbalanced movement directly forces the discs to compress beyond their yielding strength and suffer easy damage. 

Heavy Lifting

Lifting heavy weights without wearing supportive belts directly compresses your spine and can deform its shape under severe pressure. 

Physically Demanding Jobs

Working on a job them requires monotonous back movements for prolonged years can eventually damage the discs.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Strengthening the discs and the muscles around the spine requires substantial physical exercise. A sedentary lifestyle will cause your discs and muscles to weaken and wear out quicker.

Obesity:

The excess weight body fat causes the spinal discs to undergo constant compression even when the person is at rest.

How can we prevent our spine from having a slipped disc?

We can easily protect our spinal column from unforeseen damage like the slipped disc condition by following simple guidelines such as:

  • Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle and practising regular physical exercises
  • Working out at the gym with proper supportive gear under a trainer’s guidance and in moderation
  • Avoiding or giving up smoking tobacco as it weakens the muscles of the entire body including the back
  • Maintaining appropriate body weight and following a healthy diet
  • Keeping your mental pressure in check as it can affect your muscles directly

If you live in Mumbai and wish to learn more about this and several other spinal conditions in detail, then you can simply visit Dr Akhil Tawari, the most adept  Orthopedic Spine Surgeons in Mumbai. You can also visit Dr Tawari’s website to know more about his spinal treatments.

All You Need To Know About Kyphosis

Kyphosis refers to an abnormal rounding of the back. The condition mostly occurs in young patients and adults. A small curve in your upper back is normal until it starts causing pain and discomfort. Kyphosis is often associated with lousy seating posture, spinal abnormalities, or age-related weakness.

Dr Akhil Tawari is a well-accomplished and certified orthopaedic doctor in western suburbs of Mumbai and has helped many patients get rid of problems associated with bones and joints. In this blog, we will give brief information about what Kyphosis is, what causes it, and what are the symptoms to get it treated on the initial stage.

What Causes Kyphosis?

Our spine is made up of bones called vertebrae, stacked upon each other. This specific structure is unique and provides support and flexibility to our spine. The spine is also vulnerable to damage and trauma.

Kyphosis occurs when the upper part of the vertebrae turns into a wedge-like shape. It often happens due to one of the following reasons:

  • Developmental issues
  • Maintaining Poor posture
  • Ageing
  • Abnormal shape of the vertebrae

What are the symptoms of Kyphosis?

The first symptom of Kyphosis is an abnormal curve in the upper region of your spine. The upper back might appear arched over with round shoulders bent forward.

During the initial stage, Kyphosis gets unnoticed. However, if the patient looks like they are bent forward while walking or standing, it might indicate they are developing Kyphosis.

Some other symptoms of Kyphosis include:

  • Round back
  • Pain and discomfort in your upper back
  • Tight hamstrings
  • Stiffness in the back

Types of Kyphosis

There are many types of Kyphosis, but some of the most common types are:

  1. Postural Kyphosis: It is the most common type of Kyphosis and mostly occurs in adolescents if their spine and surrounding muscles failed to develop abnormally. As a result, the patient will have a poor posture.
  2. Scheuermann’s Kyphosis: This type of Kyphosis also occur at adolescents but are severe than Postural Kyphosis. Experts are yet to find what causes Scheuermann’s Kyphosis.
  3. Congenital Kyphosis: As the name suggests, this type of Kyphosis occurs at the time of birth when the child’s spine is not developed generally in the mother’s womb.

What are the complications of Kyphosis?

If left untreated, Kyphosis can affect your daily motion and activities including:

  • An irreversible lump in the back
  • Persistent back pain
  • Weak or numb arms and legs
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unable to control bladder functionality

What are the treatments?

Dr Akhil Tawari focuses on correcting the patient’s posture and preventing it from getting worse. At first, he will perform some physical exams and tests (CT-scan and X-rays) to determine the type and severity of your case and type of treatment for best results.

Depending on the patient’s case severity, you shall be recommended either non-surgical or surgical treatment.

Where the non-surgical treatment includes medications and physical therapy to strengthen your abdominal muscles and back, the surgical procedure is recommended to patients with severe forms of Postural and Scheuermann’s Kyphosis. Also, the patients who failed to respond to physical therapy positively are ideal candidates for Kyphosis treatment

The most common type of surgery for Kyphosis is spinal fusion. The treatment is performed by welding several vertebrae together to form a single segment of the bone.

Other surgical procedures include inserting rods, metal screws, and plates in the spine to correct the posture and reduce the curvature in the upper spine.

Final Thoughts

There are many physical activities and exercises to maintain proper postures such as knee rolls and pelvic tilting. Discuss with your doctor what type of rehabilitation program shall suit you best, as no two patients are the same. Your doctor, depending on your healing response and health conditions, will recommend the best-suited after-care program for a speedy recovery.

Treating Adult Scoliosis – Causes & Symptoms

What is Adult Scoliosis?

The human spine naturally grows in a top-outward and bottom-inward curve. However, some spines develop an abnormal curvature that arches sideways or rotates along its axis. This condition is known as scoliosis. It mostly occurs in the lower back, which is the lumbar region of the spine.

It usually occurs in adolescence but may not show any signs or cause any problems. However, it can develop after puberty and hinder your daily activities. These curves can be as mild as 10 degrees to as severe as 150 degrees. 

The degree of this curve may or may not be considered a threatening problem. In most cases, scoliosis treatment is primarily focused on relieving the symptoms caused due to the pinching of the nerves and the compressive pressure on the spine.

What are the types of Adult Scoliosis?

Adult Idiopathic Scoliosis:

Idiopathic scoliosis is the formation of abnormal curves caused due to unknown causes or reasons during adolescence. When it is left untreated, it gradually develops into adulthood, causing severe pain and deformities. Adolescent spinal curves which are angled less than 30 degrees are considered to stay underdeveloped throughout one’s life, whereas curves that are more than 50 degrees most probably develop more during adulthood.It usually emerges in the thoracic or lower lumbar region causing deformities like uneven shoulders, tilted hip bone, a rib hump, or prominence of the lower back on the side of the curvature.

Adult Degenerative Scoliosis:

Also known as de novo (new) scoliosis, as the name suggests, the causes of this type of scoliosis are the degenerative disorders that come with old age. It develops in adults as a cause of ageing weakness or complications such as degeneration discs, osteoporosis, arthritis of the facet joints and collapse and wedging of the disc spaces. It almost always develops in the lower lumbar region. Unlike idiopathic conditions, degenerative scoliosis leads to straightening of the spine, causing mobility issues.

What are the symptoms of Adult Scoliosis?

Most developed scoliosis can be directly detected due to visual deformities and the amount of pain it causes in the back and the legs. However, in their developing stage, it may show signs such as:

Loss in physical height (stature)

Stiffness in the back

Frequent numbness or cramping in the legs 

Uneven alignment of the pelvis and hips

Shortness of breath 

Feeling fatigued

Premature hunger 

What Are the Treatments for Adult Scoliosis?

Non-surgical Treatments:

Scoliosis, which doesn’t develop severe curves, can be controlled via physical therapy and medications. The treatment is usually decided after periodic observation for some time. The doctor may suggest treatment only if the condition is developing significantly. Tolerable symptoms caused by mild curves can be treated via:

  • A course of prescribed and over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Core strengthening exercises focused on building the abdomen and back muscles and improving flexibility.
  • Postural improvement training and diet for weight maintanance
  • Short term use of braces 
  • In case of severe back and leg pain, Epidurals or nerve block injections for temporary relief

Surgical Treatments:

When the condition progresses despite the medical and physical treatments, one may experience severe spinal imbalance and reduced physical movement. In such situations, surgery can prove more relieving. Based on the extent of nerve damage and the condition of the spine, the following spinal surgeries are commonly performed:

Laminectomy (Decompression Surgery):

This surgery is performed to decompress the pinched nerves and relieve pain. It is performed on one or two vertebras at the most when the abnormal curve is less than 30 degrees. In a Laminectomy, the rare wall of the vertebrae known as the lamina is surgically removed to expose the spinal canal and release the compressive pressure on the nerves.

Sometimes, the ligamentum flavum elastic tissues that runs between the lamina from the axis to the sacrum may also be removed if they are the cause of the pressure.If the abnormal curves are more arched than 30 degrees, they are ideally performed with spinal fusion surgery to maintain or improve overall balance.

Spinal Fusion:

In a fusion surgery, the shape of the spine is altered to make it straighter by:

  • Removing parts or chips of the spinal column by performing an osteotomy 
  • Adding autografts or allografts of bone tissues 
  • Using synthetic fixations like rods, screws and plates 

It is performed in the cervical and lumbar regions. Bone grafts are also used to boost the fusion healing process. The surgeon may also use artificial bone grafts made from calcium or phosphate. Fusion surgery carries the risk of partial loss of mobility and takes almost a year to heal completely.

If you’re looking for a spine surgeon who can help you find the most suitable spinal scoliosis treatment in Borivali, then Dr Akhil Tawari should be your first choice. With more than 15 years of surgical experience, Dr Tawari performs a thorough analysis with only the latest diagnostic methodologies for scoliosis treatment and provides extensive spinal care for scoliosis-in-adults. Visit Dr Akhil Tawari’s website to learn more about his state-of-the-art spinal solutions.

2 Common MIS surgical procedures,and how to know ifyou need those?

The spine is under constant pressure from stabilizing the skeleton from the head to the hips, leading to a range of spinal disorders and deformities. Traumatic accidents, wear and tear, congenital or systemic disorders are common causes of spinal problems such as spinal stenosis, osteoporosis, disc herniation, etc. that weaken the vertebral column. Some of them are temporary and easily curable, while some may cause permanent deformities that mostly require surgical intervention.

How to know if you need a spinal treatment?

A spinal problem may gradually develop for several years or may happen suddenly due to some other condition. Mild to moderate neck and back pain are considered to be typical symptoms of spinal disorders in their initial stages. However, there are some other signs which might be indicating that you need a spinal treatment, such as  

  • Feeling severe shock like pain in the legs
  • Feeling weakness in the legs while walking
  • Feeling severe stiffness in the lower back region while walking or sleeping
  • Inability to move flexibly due to the limited range of back motion
  • Failure to maintain normal posture due to severe back pain, feeling restless
  • Getting muscle spasms and tightened hamstrings even when your body is at rest
  • Experiencing severe and persistent back pain for more than ten days
  • Having unforeseen limping episodes while walking

The vast majority of patients with spine problems can be treated with therapy and medications as the body tries to fix the issues naturally over time. However, when conservative treatments prove unsuccessful, a surgical procedure can be used to fix the problem more quickly.

What Are The Latest Methods Of Performing Spinal Surgeries?

Latest advancements in spinal surgical procedures have produced the most efficient way of repairing the spine, known as ‘Minimally Invasive Spine (MIS)’ surgeries. MIS surgeries are keyhole-type surgeries which are performed through small incisions while retaining most of the muscles and tissues that would have been damaged by traditional surgery.

MIS surgeries make use of a tool called ‘tubular retractor’. It is a solid tube which is inserted through a small incision on the skin over the specific region where the problem exists, without disturbing the surrounding skin tissues and muscles. The tube retracts the muscles on its way (instead of cutting them) and is then used for inserting surgical tools and removing damaged parts.

The tube stays intact throughout the procedure, and the small incision it makes is much faster to heal than the large incisions made during open spine surgeries.

If you suspect any of the above symptoms of spinal problems, then following are some of these minimally invasive spine surgeries that you must know about before starting your spine treatment:

MIS Lumbar Diskectomy:

Diskectomy or Discectomy is performed to surgically remove a herniated disc to decompress the spine and prevent it from damaging the surrounding root nerves. The herniated disc also causes severe pain, weakness and numbness in the body.

MIS Lumbar Diskectomy Procedure:

The patient is induced with general or regional anaesthesia and is made to sleep facing down on the belly. The tubular retractor is inserted, and a small part of the lamina bone is removed to make the underlying nerves and the damaged disc visible. Through the retractor, the surgeon carefully moves the nerves and removes only the damaged disc. This technique can also be used for removing a herniated disc from the neck. 

MIS Lumbar Fusion:

MIS Lumbar Fusion is a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) where the surgeon approaches the damaged spinal area from the sides of the spine and not over it. The patient is positioned facing down, and two retractors are inserted from both sides of the spine, preventing the damage to central nerves and bones. Through both the retractors, the surgeon removes the damaged parts from the spine. The prosthetic implants or bone grafts are placed inside and additional fixations like screws and rods

You can get these advanced MIS surgeries only from a highly experienced spine surgeon in Mumbai as it requires a higher set of skills and understanding. 

Dr Akhil Tawari is one such highly adept and trusted minimally invasive spine surgeon in Mumbai, who provides comprehensive solutions for all spine-related problems. You can visit Dr Tawari’s website to learn more about his treatments.